The 5 Biggest HR Trends Influencing the Hotel Industry Now

Male hotel manager in a suit, holding a tablet while standing in the lobby.

Table of Contents

The hospitality industry is finally overcoming the challenges of the past few years and getting used to the new post-pandemic normal. Although the recovery is steady overall, numerous disruptions – such as alternative lodging and ride-sharing platforms – make it harder for some sectors to navigate the latest hurdles.

Today, we’ll take a look at the biggest HR trends influencing the hotel industry right now. How is technology helping hoteliers address labor and hiring challenges, and what are hoteliers doing to adapt?

Keep reading to find out!

How HR, labor, and hiring in the hotel industry have changed

Two hotel housekeeping staff reviewing a task list.

There’s no denying that the hotel industry has experienced major changes as a result of the pandemic.

According to the most recent survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), 87% of hotels surveyed are experiencing a staffing shortage, with a whopping 36% of hotels considered severely understaffed.

Housekeeping is the most critical staffing need, with 43% of survey respondents ranking it as their biggest challenge.

At the same time, these shortages are pushing hoteliers to discover new opportunities and find ways to utilize technology and innovate. Technology can be used for streamlining operations and stimulating growth, as well as making both employees and clients happy.

Here are 5 of the biggest HR trends sweeping the hotel industry right now:

1. Digitizing the employee experience

Hotel employee checking in a guest at the reception desk.

The American Psychological Association (APA) reported that nearly 79% of American workers experienced burnout and stress during the pandemic. In the months that followed, many employees quit their jobs or switched careers. 

For this reason, HR teams are doing their best to improve the employee experience and retain talent by offering better salaries and more benefits. The goal is to attract new workers and inspire them to establish thriving careers in the hospitality industry.

Another way to secure new talent is to leverage technology like mobile onboarding. Mobile onboarding makes it easy for remote teams to get up to speed quickly.

To create a digital culture, hotels around the world have started incorporating mobile-first solutions that provide the following benefits:

  • Centralizing and streamlining communications
  • Offering better customer service
  • Higher employee engagement
  • Improved decision-making
  • Offering greater flexibility

These mobile-first tools work best with frontline jobs, including hotel staff, cashiers, and restaurant workers.

2. Corporate initiatives and evolving workplace conditions

Hotel staff gathered around the conference table for a company meeting.

Speaking of burnout… stressed, undertrained, and disengaged employees can’t perform at their best. What is more, a lack of flexibility at work can drive workers to change jobs or leave the industry altogether. We saw this with the restaurant worker shortage especially.

To engage and retain employees, hotel managers should conduct ice-breaker sessions and get feedback regularly. Technology like TimeForge can be used to obtain shift ratings and shift notes from workers. By using these tools, hotel managers can both increase employee engagement and monitor employee satisfaction.

Hotels should also start investing in employee training, growth opportunities, and diversity and inclusion initiatives. For example, TimeForge’s certification tracking can help managers stay on top of training and initiatives by sending out reminders when things are due.

Providing employees with opportunities to learn more about the hotel sector can have a direct impact on their performance and quality of customer service.

3. New business models 

An African American hotel employee showing two guests something on a tablet.

Hotel occupancy rates are climbing, but they’re still below pre-pandemic levels. In August, the hotel occupancy rate was 67% in the United States.

Although things are slowly getting back to normal, many people still work remotely. These remote workers attend business meetings and conferences from the comfort of their homes instead of traveling to on-site events and staying at hotels. 

The hotel industry is adapting by using technology to attract new visitors. For example, hotels are providing services like work-ready Zoom rooms and offering room service via the hotel’s mobile app. 

Delivering more personalized and smarter customer experiences helps reduce the staffing burden, as well. 

4. Internet of Things (IoT) and data-driven approaches

Close-up of a chip labeled RFID.

In order to achieve greater efficiency, hotels are making more data-driven decisions. That means investing in technology such as people analytics tools that can help HR make better choices. TimeForge provides hundreds of prebuilt reports that can provide instant insights to decision-makers.

The Internet of Things (IoT) creates a connected environment that can assist with data collection and also help with:

Realizing the benefits of data, hotels have begun implementing devices like handheld scanners and RFID tags

5. Task automation

Hotel industry employees working the reception desk and answering phones.

Last but not least is task automation. HR teams have a massive task in front of them. They need to:

  • find and attract new talent,
  • onboard new employees – some of whom have very little industry experience,
  • keep the workforce engaged and stress-free, and
  • find ways to retain employees.

With so much to do, hoteliers are embracing the idea of automating certain tasks, such as talent screening, scheduling calls, and meetings, or shipping salaries. 

HR workflow automation simplifies and streamlines work and frees up more space for tasks that matter the most. More than 70% of hotels are increasing their spending on automation software, acquisition tools, and HR technology in general.

Software like TimeForge can help improve the employee experience by automating aspects of employee engagement. Hoteliers can then deliver targeted strategies to increase employee loyalty and satisfaction.

Keeping up with the biggest HR trends in the hotel industry

The hotel industry took some time to start recovering from the pandemic, the Great Resignation, and the subsequent worker shortages. To fully recover, hotels should employ some of the biggest HR industry trends, which take advantage of modern technologies to close gaps and increase operational efficiencies.

It’s not about the trends but about retaining and engaging your employees and attracting new ones. By impressing and delighting guests, hotels can drive more revenue and overcome the latest challenges in hospitality. 

Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her white little bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation.

Share this post


Table of Contents

Want more tips?

Over 30,000 subscribers already benefit from our industry expertise each month.

We're committed to your privacy. TimeForge uses the information you provide to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, see our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
TimeForge for Franchisees

Join our industry newsletter for tips & insights

Want to be a labor management pro? Sign up for our newsletter to receive thought leadership, labor management news, and timely insights from industry experts.

We’re committed to your privacy. TimeForge uses the information you provide to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, see our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.